In showing a way to put social justice and sustainability first, the students and residents in Curtis Bay are putting forth a model for fair development. This campaign is an inspiring example of people power and the exciting potential for a new path forward, one that is fair and sustainable. Running this race is one small way for me to contribute to this future. I hope you will support this important work!
Free Your Voice, United Workers, and allies are confronting and defeating Energy Answers — a New York-based company with a website that claims “we are all environmentalists.” Hidden behind talk of clean energy, the company is actually in the dirty business of burning trash. The trash burning incinerator proposed for Curtis Bay would have been permitted to emit 240 pounds of mercury and 1,000 pounds of lead every year — in the city with the nation’s highest rate of air pollution related deaths. Studies have shown that burning trash emits even more climate pollution than burning coal, per unit of energy.
“Decades ago, when the tide starting turning against incineration in the U.S, and coal and oil were getting a bad rap, trash burning companies rebranded themselves as “waste-to-energy,” claiming that they can renewably produce energy from waste. But burning trash is a climate disaster, emitting high levels of greenhouse gases alongside toxic pollution,” explained Ahmina Maxey of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). “All across the country, companies like Energy Answers are spewing toxic pollution into communities under the guise of producing clean energy. Free Your Voice blew the whistle on this lie, and their story highlights the need to end renewable energy classification for trash incineration in state and national policies.”
In the United States state and national waste and climate policies like the Clean Power Plan and the Non-Hazardous Secondary Material Rule classify trash burning as renewable energy renewable energy. In doing so, they allow Energy Answers and other trash burning companies to qualify for climate subsidies, meant for clean energy like wind and solar power. These subsidies offset the high costs of building an incinerator, present an enormous challenge to communities like Curtis Bay, and keep polluting facilities alive all over the country. As the Clean Power Plan describes, incinerators compete with zero waste initiatives like waste prevention, reuse, composting, and recycling.
Audrey and Leah Rozier have been working with other leaders in their community for the past three years to the stop the nations' largest trash burning incinerator from being built less than a mile from their homes. They are also up and coming musicians who use their talent to advance the fight for social justice and universal human rights. The two sisters wrote this powerful song entitled "Free Your Voice" about the struggle they are a part of here in Baltimore. They then performed the song just feet away from key decision makers in a push to get Baltimore City to withdraw their support for the incinerator. We captured that moment as it happened and you can watch it right here:
On Tuesday, May 27th Free Your Voice traveled to the Baltimore City school board meeting to let them know that plans for building the nation’s largest trash incinerator less than a mile from several schools in Curtis Bay is failed developed and that we need to work together to demand Fair Development and stop its construction. During the student presentation the brilliant sister duo, Leah N Drey Rose (formerly Double Impact), performed the Free Your Voice Anthem. Below is a video of their powerful performance.Read more